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About Rima Faber


Rima Faber, Ph.D. received her Ph.D. and M.A. from American University and her B.A. from Bennington College.  She studied with Blanche Evans (1947-1951), Anna Sokolow (1952-1957), Martha Graham (1957-1961) and Merce Cunningham (1968-1971).  She founded and directed Consolidated Energy, an experimental dance nucleus in New York (1971-1978).  After moving to the Washington, DC area in 1978, she danced with Liz Lerman for two years, and then performed as a soloist for Pola Nirenska from 1980 until her death in 1992.

Dr. Faber began studies in cognitive development in 1962 as an undergraduate student at Bennington College. When her older daughter began struggling with schoolwork in the 1970s, Faber recognized her difficulties learning verbally and taught her the required academics through dance experiences.

Her sister unfortunately suffered a Brocca stroke in 1976 and was left aphasic as well as completely paralyzed on her right side. Rima worked with therapists to rebuild functions. She linked the neurological knowledge gained with her knowledge of cognitive development to construct deep understanding of the relationship of dance to cognitive development and brain function in young children.

Dr. Faber founded and directed The Primary Movers (1979), a studio and children’s performing company that taught dance to children from physiological, psychological, neurological, cognitive approaches to learning dance as an art form.  She simultaneously taught academic curricula through dance in DC Public schools.

This prompted Dr. Faber to enroll at American University in 1992 where she received her masters in Dance in 1994 and her doctorate in 1997 from the School of Education.  As her mentor at AU, Dr. Prevots introduced Rima to a national perspective.  Dr. Faber worked with Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) (1994-1997).  She was Chair of the Editorial Board of the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD, 1997-1999); Adjunct Professor at Montgomery College Dept. of Fine Arts; Adjunct Faculty at American University Dept. of Performing Arts; and Visiting Clinical Professor at New York University.  She currently teaches online courses for Rutgers University, George Washington University, and the National Dance Education Organization.

In 1998, Dr. Faber was instrumental in forming the National Dance Education Organization and served as founding President, founding Executive Director, and Program Director from 1998-2010.  She helped NDEO build into the foremost non-profit organization serving as the voice for dance arts education for private schools of dance, PreK-12, higher education, dance arts agencies, and community programs.  She was Research Director for a 3-year initiative to identify research in dance education in the United States, develop a database, and publish a “Report to the Nation” analyzing the patterns, trends, and gaps of research in dance education.  She chaired task forces to develop two sets of standards in dance: for early childhood and for children 5-18 years of age (PreK and K-12).

Dr. Faber retired from the National Dance Education Organization in 2010, but continues her work in the national arena as Chair of the Dance Task Force for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards. She led the development of the next generation of national Core Standards for Dance Education. She is founder and current President of Capital Region Educators of Dance Organization (CREDO).

Honors and Awards: Grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (1986-1993. 1995-1997), Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (1994-Present); Phi Delta Kappa (1995-Present); American University Dance Scholarship Awards (1993, 1994), American University Student Service Award (1994), Beatrice Davis Community Service Award (1996).  International: Tour in Russia with The Primary Movers (1996); Member of Dance Education Delegation to China (1996); Contract to teach kinesthetic learning workshops in Germany (1997). National Dance Education Organization Visionary Award (2002);  American University Performing Arts Hall of Fame (2004); DC Metro Dance Award for Excellence in Dance Education (2006), NDEO Executive Director’s Award (2013), NDEO Lifetime Achievement Award (2014).

Dr, Faber was featured in a cover article in the May 2014 edition of Dance Teacher magazine.

For a full copy of Dr. Faber’s Vita contact her at: